New Zealand dished out a disciplined all-round effort to post a comfortable seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their opening match of the ICC Women’s World T20 in New Delhi on Tuesday.
The New Zealand women’s team, also known as the ‘White Ferns’, chased down the target in 15.5 overs after restricting Sri Lanka to 110 for six.
Captain Suzie Bates scored a run-a-ball 37 while opening the batting alongside Rachel Priest, who struck 28 off 26 balls at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
With Bates and Priest scoring at a brisk rate, it seemed Sri Lanka would go down without a fight.
However, some reckless play by the Kiwi batters gave a glimmer of hope to the Sri Lankans as New Zealand lost three quick wickets to slip to 77/3 after the openers had shared a 64-run partnership.
Amy Satterthwaite (13*) and Sara McGlashan (21*) steadied the ship for the two-time runners-up and eventually took them home.
With the win, New Zealand maintained their 100% win record against Sri Lanka in seven T20 Internationals.
Earlier, Sri Lanka made a solid start through openers Chamara Atapattu (17) and Yasoda Mendis (30) before losing their way. Mendis struck some elegant strokes while batting alongside Atapattu as the two took the team to 39 for no loss in six overs.
Dilani Manodara (37) then joined Mendis and overtook the role of aggressor from the Sri Lankan opener.
Manodara brought the sparse crowd at Kotla to life by depositing Bates over long on for the first six of the game.
In the next over, she reverse swept another spinner Satterthwaite and it seemed the Sri Lankans were set for a decent total.
However, a flurry of wickets after the fall of Mendis left Sri Lanka struggling at 96/6 from a promising 82 for one in the 13th over.
While Mendis offered a simple catch at midwicket, Manodara was unlucky to have got run out.
The Lankan innings failed to get a move on thereafter with New Zealand putting up an impressive effort on the field.
Sri Lanka: 110/8 in 20 overs (Yasoda Mendis 30, Dilani Manodara 37; Leigh Kasperek 2/19).
New Zealand: 111/3 in 15.5 overs (Suzie Bates 37, Rachel Priest 28).